8:27 am Feb. 26, 20132
Assemblyman Dov Hikind apologized. Sort of.
First, Hikind held a press conference and said he was sorry if anyone was offended that he dressed as a black basketball player, in blackface.
He issued that qualified apology in response to a very public backlash against him after a photo of him at a Purim Party, in costume, was posted online.
Later, in a radio interview with Zev Brenner, Hikind said he didn't mean to offend anyone, and began to criticize his critics, equating wearing blackface with non-Jews dressing up as Hassidic rabbis for Halloween. Callers to Brenner's show also defended Hikind.
Hikind also said his critics simply don't know the meaning of Purim.
Later, he wondered aloud whether he'd dress up as an Indian or gay person for next year's Purim celebration.
"[W]hen there are certain Jews who go into the mud just to curry favor with certain segments out there that's pretty pathetic." — Dov Hikind
Remembering the first World Trade Center bombing. [David Dunlap]
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a buyback program for homeowners in storm-prone neighborhoods. [Greg Smith]
Cuomo is moving away from "a secret lobbying outfit that sparked controversy in the past." [Ken Lovett]
Cuomo could lead New Yorkers toward fracking, if he took up the issue. [Bill Hammond]
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said he's drafting legislation to support Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.'s call for a statewide registry of convicted gun criminals. [New York Post]
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the arrest of three people who stole money from a food program for the elderly. [AG.ny.gov]
One of the people arrested was a staffer for New York City Comptroller John Liu. [Lorena Mongellia and Carl Campanile]
"Madoff-ravaged Mets enter into a stadium deal with…Amway" [Howard Megdal]
The International Herald Tribune will now be the International New York Times. [Joe Pompeo]
Bloomberg has a suggestion for Cuomo about big sugary drinks. [Dana Rubinstein]
Cuomo said the incident with Michael Fayette is a D.O.T. problem, declining to comment on his aide's role. [Azi Paybarah]
A 'hopeful' Chuck Schumer and a 'cynical' Kirsten Gillibrand called for the 9/11 health care program to be exempt from sequestration cuts. [Reid Pillifant]
Democratic lawmakers piled onto Hikind, demanding a full and complete public apology. [Azi Paybarah]
"Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is in New York City."
Noon. Mayor Michael Bloomberg attends a commemoration ceremony for the 20th anniversary of the World Trade Center bombing, at the National September 11th Memorial, in Manhattan. @MikeBloomberg #WTC20
6 p.m. Adolfo Carrion formally launches his mayoral campaign, at The Bronx Museum, 1040 Grand Concoruse Avenue, in the Bronx. @AdolfoCarrion #NYC2013
7:30 p.m. The Daily News, Metro IAF and other groups host their second mayoral forum, with moderator Errol Loius, at Central Park Synagogue, 652 Lexington Avenue, Manhattan.@Quinn4NY @DeBlasioNYC @JohnLiu2013 @BillThompsonNYC @Jcats2013 @TomAllon4Mayor #DNforum #NYC2013
10 a.m. On Brian Leher's show: Former mayor David Dinkins on tennis; former Senator Bill Bradley on New Jersey politics and reporter Bob Hennelly on federal budget cuts. [WNYC]@BrianLehrer @BobHWNYC #sequester #NJgov
10 a.m. On Fred Dicker's show: guests to be announced. [Talk1300]
7 p.m. On "The Road to City Hall:" New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli; Jasmine Rand, the attorney representing Trayvon Martin's parents; plus Wise Guys: Al D'Amato, and 2006 gubernatorial rivals Eliot Spitzer and John Faso. [NY1]@RoadToCityHall @NYSComptroller @TomDiNapoli @AlDamatoNY @EliotSpitzer #TrayvonMartin
Another editorial prodding Christine Quinn to have a vote on Paid Sick Leave. [New York Times]
Quinn is praised for not wavering on plans for a garbage facility on Manhattan's East Side. [New York Post]
Bill de Blasio, John Liu and Bill Thompson were "jellyfish" for wavering on the garbage plan. [Daily News]
Bloomberg piles on the Democratic candidates who are wavering on the garbage plan. [Erin Durkin]
De Blasio calls on the N.B.A. to hold the 2015 All-Star game at the Barclays Center instead of Madison Square Garden. [Alan Neuhauser]
Joe Lhota wants a "public debate" about hunting, at least on Staten Island, where the deer population is becoming problematic. [Tom Wrobleski]
John Catsimatidis hit Lhota for raising tolls just before leaving the M.T.A. [Carl Campanile]
George McDonanld's fight to raise money above the city's contribution limits gets endorsed by one daily newspaper. [New York Post]
McDonald is claiming victory. [Zack Fink]
City Hall / City Council
A new strategy to protect city dollars: fight weak lawsuits rather than settling them. [Benjamin Weiser]
Assemblyman Dov Hikind "is apologizing for wearing blackface." [AP]
Hikind's lack of understanding of blackface and its historical significance is the problem. [Daily News]
Is Hikind facing criticism because of his outspoken defense of Jews and Israel? [Yossi Gestetner]
Hikind is second only to Ruben Diaz Sr. in terms of being a "vicious anti-gay legislator," says one blogger. [Joe.My.God]
Hikind is not a big story here. [Hamodia]
Republican congressman Richard Hanna, along with Jon Huntsman and a number of other prominent Republicans, signed a brief in support of same-sex marriage. [Sheryl Gay Stolberg]
House Republicans have proposed a bill to give President Obama more flexibility with those sequestration cuts. [Jonathan Weisman and Michael Shear]
Some Republicans in the Senate are wary of Chuck Schumer's new role as a bipartisan dealmaker. [Manu Raju]
Today's special election in Illinois will be a test of Mayor Bloomberg's super PAC. [Alex Isenstadt]
The governor of Illinois, who had previously criticized Bloomberg's spending in a gun-inflected primary, now says he "absolutely" supports the mayor's efforts. [Ruby Cramer]
Michelle Obama's appearance at the Oscars was photoshopped, courtesy of Iran. [Kristen Lee]
Jack Lew got an unusually large severance package when he left N.Y.U. [Danny Hakim]